Ever since the Nissan GT-R was born in 2008, the car known as Godzilla has raced with just about every other supercar in the world. But one car that the Japanese supercar has failed to go head-to-head with is, ironically enough, its own.
Japanese car show, BestMotor TV, has decided that if Godzilla were to meet its match, why not race it against two more of its kind. That’s right; it’s a triple-threat Nissan GT-R throw down!
The three cars are actually three model years of the Japanese supercar - the 2010MY, the 2012MY, and the 2013MY. Looking at the numbers alone, you could already make a case for the 2013 GT-R to be a step ahead of its older brothers - it has 550 horsepower compared to the 530 ponies of the 2012MY and 485 horses of the 2010MY.
All that being said, it still makes for a fascinating watch, especially when you consider yourself a fan of this fire-spewing, competition-trampling Japanese monster.
It’s always sad when we have to report on a crashed supercar, but this latest accident takes that depression to epic proportions. Not one, not two, but eight Ferraris, as well as a Lamborghini, two Mercedes models, and two Toyota models have been utterly destroyed this past weekend during a terrible crash on a highway in Japan. The Ferraris destroyed were: several F355 units, an F-360, and an F-430. The losses are being estimated at around $1.5 million, but some are reporting losses of up to $4 million! Fortunately no one was seriously injured in the accident, but 10 people sustained bruising and minor injuries, probably to their egos as well as their bodies.
"The accident occurred when the driver of a red Ferrari was switching from the right lane to the left and skidded," said Mitsuyoshi Isejima, Executive Officer for Yamaguchi Prefecture’s Expressway Traffic Police unit. "It was a gathering of narcissists."
The driver responsible, a 60-year-old man may face up to three months in jail or a fine of as much as $1,280 - considering the damage, we’d say he got off easy. The police officers needed about six hours to clear the highway, although it may take the drivers a lifetime to forget this horrific experience ever happened.
We are still waiting to see the official details on the production version of the Subaru BRZ, but Subaru isn’t wasting any time preparing the sports coupe’s future plans. The first thing on their agenda, of course, will be to make sure the BRZ is successful, but next on their list is plans to sign the BRZ up for next year’s Super GT Championship in Japan.
The Japanese Super GT series is known as the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (or JGTC) and is a competition recognized by the FIA. The event usually takes place at race tracks such as the Twin Ring Motegi, Fuji Speedway, and Suzuka Circuit.
Subaru has announced that its BRZ entrant will be in the GT300 class - an obvious choice considering the BRZ is slotted for a 300 HP 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 engine anyway. This may mean that the BRZ will most likely be replacing the current STI Legacy B4 in the race.
More details about this event will be announced at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon where Subaru will also be bringing the production BRZ. Stay tuned!
Over in Japan, a new tuning company is breaking into the auto tuning scene and they’ve prepared a nice program for the Lamborghini Gallardo as their very first project.
The tuning company is called BenSopra and they’ve only been open for a few months. Ever mindful of the fierce competition within the industry, the Japanese tuning company wanted their first project to be something people would remember - even if the whole program isn’t so much about over-the-top craziness as it is about subtle styling cues that add an element of sublime exclusivity to the Italian supercar.
The whole aerodynamic program consists of an overhauled front bumper profile, as well as the addition of a new rear diffuser and a new rear wing. These parts, combined with the touches of Italian flair Lambos are known for, makes for a very interesting look to the Gallardo.
Add that to the car’s already mighty powertrain - a 5.2-liter V10 engine that produces 560 horsepower - and you have a package that certainly does justice to BenSopra’s introduction to the auto aftermarket scene.
The Mazda RX-8 is set to run off into the sunset in a year’s time, but for one of Mazda’s most popular models, the inevitable end only means being given a proper swan song before officially saying goodbye.
Before the curtain drops on the RX-8 next summer, Mazda is preparing one final special edition model called the Spirit R. The car will be based on the manual version RX-8 Type RS and the automatic Type E and will be limited to only 1,000 units.
The two model variants of the RX-8 Spirit R will carry distinct styling features, including unique badges, fog lights and rear combination lights decked with black bezels, red painted brake calipers, a piano-black trim for the transmission tunnel, and a choice of three exterior paint finishes: Aluminum Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica, and Crystal White Pearl Mica.
On top of that, each model will have their own features. For the RX-8 Type RS trim, the added goodies include Recaro bucket seats and a special set of 19" bronze alloy wheels. For the RX-8 Type E trim, the changes include a black leather treatment on the interior with contrasting red stitching, a new sports suspension, larger brakes, and a set of 18" alloy in gun metallic finish wrapped in 225/45R18 91W tires.
The special edition RX-8 will drop in dealerships beginning November 24, 2011. So if you’re a fan of the RX-8 and you want to give it the send-off it deserves, here’s your chance to prove it.
UPDATE 05/02/12: Initially limited to only 1,000 units, the growing demand for the RX-8 Spirit has prompted Mazda to extend production of the special edition RX-8, adding another 1,000 models in the pipeline, thereby doubling the total number of this model to 2,000 units. So if you missed out on the first 1K, be happy that you get another shot of getting your very own RX-8 Spirit.
Automotive fanatic or not, there is no one in this world that hasn’t heard the name Ayrton Senna. He is considered by many as the greatest Formula 1 driver ever. He entered Formula 1 in 1984 and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions.
In 1989, when he raced at Suzuka, he was driving for McLaren. At the Suzuka Circuit in Japan that year, he had a little collision with Prost - also working for McLaren. After the collision, Senna pitted to replace the damaged nose of his car, and rejoined the race in which he inevitably ended up crossing the finish line in first place. Unfortunately, he was disqualified by the FIA for cutting the chicane after the collision and for crossing into the pit lane entry. Senna’s disqualification caused Prost to be given the win. Senna finished the season second with six wins and one second place.
BMW has always had a good following in Japan, so much so that they’ve actually had a presence in the country for 30 years now.
To celebrate the German brand’s 30th anniversary in the Land of the Rising Sun, BMW has unveiled a special edition 5-Series F10 for the occasion. The car is called the 528i ’30th Anniversary Edition’, and as its name obviously suggests, it’s a limited run model that commemorates BMW’s 30-year presence in Japan.
The 528i 20th Anniversary Edition is limited to only 200 units and will come with special styling elements to justify its ’SE’ tag, including a Deep Sea Blue Metallic finish, a BMW Individual aluminum window trim, Veneto Beige dakota leather, Satin Walnut Wood Fine Honey Brown Individual trim, door sill plates engraved with the 30th anniversary logo, a head-up display, and a premium audio system.
As for the powertrain, the car will carry BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine, one that produces an output of 258 horsepower.
In the off-chance that you’re in Japan while reading this, the cost of owning one of the 200 models of the 528i "30th Anniversary Edition" is 7.9 million Yen, which is around $103,400 based on current exchange rates.
The bullet with wheels pictured above isn’t exactly a production ready model, but thanks to the work of Toyota Industries Corp., the KU:RIN - Japanese for "air" and "wheel," is complete enough to achieve a compressed air top speed of 80.3 mph. Being a record worthy number, Toyota says they plan on submitting these results to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The long and slender KU:RIN is 3.5 meters long and only 0.8 meters wide. This three-wheeled compressed air-powered vehicle is designed in such of manner that, instead of using mechanical power to compress air, it generates mechanical energy from the expansion of the compressed air. The compressed air acts as energy storage, playing the same role of a battery pack in an electric vehicle. The record top speed is an incredible feat, but the problem with the KU:RIN is that it can run only 1.98 miles between charges. Not exactly a number that anyone would be comfortable with.
The new record set was achieved at the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) test facility at Shirosato, Ibaraki Prefecture on September 9th.
Toray Industries is a multi-national company based in Japan that is considered as one of the foremost carbon fiber makers in the world. With all the resources it has on tap, Toray is venturing into the world of automotive building with the help of renowned auto designer, Gordon Murray.
Their first project, a two-seat electric concept, is called the TeeWave AR1 Concept and it has got enough carbon fiber to last multiple lifetimes. That’s hardly surprising, either, considering that they have all the carbon fiber they need at their disposal. Almost every panel of the car is made from carbon fiber, reducing the body’s weight to just 846 kg (1865 lbs) while also making it roughly ten times stronger than reinforced steel. By comparison, the Tesla Roadster weighs 1,220 kg (2689 lbs), 44% heavier than the AR1 Concept.
According to Toray, the TeeWave AR1 can reach a top speed of 91 mph with a range that hits 115 miles. The extensive use of carbon fiber on the AR1 Concept allows it to be as light as it is, but the cache to all that is the tremendous cost that comes with building just a prototype. Word has it that one prototype of the carbon fiber-decked AR1 Concept comes with a price of $3.88 million, a number that’s ridiculously expensive even by the standards of the most exotic of supercars.
That’s not to say that there’s no future for the AR1 Concept past the prototype phase, but the whole point for Toray has always been to introduce the prevalent use of carbon fiber, not just on high-priced exotics, but on everyday vehicles as well.
Hit the jump to see a video of the TeeWave AR1 Concept during its debut at the 2011 Toray Advanced Materials Exhibition.